1 COMMISSION ON CANCER Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care v 1.0
2 AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SURGEONS CHICAGO, IL ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
3 1 Table of Contents Dedication... 5 Acknowledgment of Contributors... 6 Foreword...7 Commission on Cancer (CoC) Mission...9 Commission on Cancer Background...9 Commission on Cancer in Today s Health Care Environment...9 The CoC Accreditation Committee The CoC Accreditation Program Cancer Program Accreditation: A Central Component of Quality Cancer Care...14 Responding to the IOM Report: CoC Standards and Quality Measurement...14 Major Standard Changes: Performance Standards and Patient-Centered Programs Cost and Value: What this Means for Accredited Programs Accreditation Process Categories of Cancer Programs Survey Process Survey Extensions The Survey Fee The Survey Agenda...22 The Survey Application Record...22 Required Documentation The Post-Survey Evaluation Notification of Results Marketing and Visibility...24 Additional Accreditation Information...25 Cancer Program Standards Rating System Accreditation Awards...28 Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA)...29 Best Practices Repository and Other Resources Information for Programs Seeking Initial CoC Accreditation... 30
4 2 Eligibility Requirements...31 Cancer Committee Responsibilities E1: Facility Accreditation E2: Cancer Committee Authority E3: Cancer Conference Policy E4: Oncology Nurse Leadership E5: Cancer Registry Policy and Procedure E6: Diagnostic Imaging...36 E7: Radiation Oncology Services...36 E8: Systemic Therapy Services E9: Clinical Trial Information E10: Psychosocial Services E11: Rehabilitation Services E12: Nutrition Services Program Management...39 Standard 1.1: Physician Credentials Standard 1.2: Cancer Committee Membership...42 Standard 1.3: Cancer Committee Attendance Standard 1.4: Cancer Committee Meetings...46 Standard 1.5: Cancer Program Goals Standard 1.6: Cancer Registry Quality Control Plan...48 Standard 1.7: Monitoring Conference Activity Standard 1.8: Monitoring Community Outreach Standard 1.9: Clinical Trial Accrual Standard 1.10: Clinical Educational Activity...58 Standard 1.11: Cancer Registrar Education...59 Standard 1.12: Public Reporting of Outcomes... 61
5 3 Clinical Services...63 Standard 2.1: College of American Pathologists Protocols...65 Standard 2.2: Nursing Care...66 Standard 2.3: Risk Assessment and Genetic Counseling...68 Standard 2.4: Palliative Care Services Continuum of Care Services...73 Standard 3.1: Patient Navigation Process Standard 3.2: Psychosocial Distress Screening Standard 3.3: Survivorship Care Plan Data Quality...93 Standard 5.1: Cancer Registrar Credentials...95 Standard 5.2: Abstracting Timeliness...96 Standard 5.3: Follow-Up of All Patients Standard 5.4: Follow-Up of Recent Patients Standard 5.5: Data Submission...98 Standard 5.6: Accuracy of Data...99 Standard 5.7: Commission on Cancer Special Studies Glossary of Terms Patient Outcomes...79 Standard 4.1: Prevention Programs Standard 4.2: Screening Programs...82 Standard 4.3: Cancer Liaison Physician Responsibilities...84 Standard 4.4: Accountability Measures...86 Standard 4.5: Quality Improvement Measures Standard 4.6: Assessment of Evaluation and Treatment Planning...88 Standard 4.7: Studies of Quality...90 Standard 4.8: Quality Improvements...92 Appendix A: Tables of Criteria by Category
7 5 Dedication The Commission on Cancer dedicates the new cancer program standards to those individuals who trust their care to providers at CoC-accredited facilities. We dedicate these standards to all those treated in the past, to those under treatment now, and to those who will grant us the great privilege of treating them in the years to come. Volunteers and CoC staff worked together to develop these standards with the solitary goal of ensuring that patients with cancer will receive the highest quality care close to home.
8 6 Acknowledgment of Contributors The Commission on Cancer acknowledges the many contributions of the following people who made the Cancer Program Standards (CPS) Project a success. Frederick L. Greene, MD, FACS, Project Chair Diana Dickson-Witmer, MD, FACS, Project Vice-chair Stephen B. Edge, MD, FACS, Chair, Commission on Cancer David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, Medical Director, Cancer Programs Deborah Dickerson, RHIT, CTR Stephen J. Dreyer, MD, FACS Linda W. Ferris, PhD Robert M. Flanigan, MD, FACS Daniel P. McKellar, MD, FACS William P. Reed, Jr., MD, FACS Philip Y. Roland, MD, FACS Robert Sticca, MD, FACS Thomas Tachovsky, MD, FACS Susan Van Loon, RN, CTR STAFF CONTRIBUTORS Connie Bura M. Asa Carter, CTR Vicki Chiappetta, RHIA, CTR Deborah Etheridge, CTR Greer Gay, RN, PhD Lisa Landvogt, CTR Jerri Linn Phillips, MS, CTR Karen Stachon Andrew Stewart, MA In addition, the CoC is grateful for the contributions of the representatives of the CoC member organizations who worked to improve the existing standards and to create new patient-centered standards. We would never have succeeded without you. The CoC also thanks the members of the Cancer Program Standards Workgroups and Steering Committee for their tireless efforts on behalf of patients with cancer. Finally, the CoC acknowledges the many cancer program constituents from CoC-accredited programs across the country who provided comments and suggestions for the standards.
11 9 Foreword Commission on Cancer Mission The CoC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. Commission on Cancer Background The history of the Commission on Cancer and standards for cancer care begins with the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). From its creation in 1913, the ACoS has focused on improving the care of the surgical patient through the advancement of surgical skills and physician education. Because surgical intervention was the only available treatment for cancer at that time, it is logical that the ACoS also took the lead to improve cancer care by establishing the Committee on the Treatment of Malignant Diseases (Committee) in Over time, the Committee has transformed from its original surgical focus to one that involves all aspects of cancer care. In order to recognize this transformation, the name of the Committee was changed to the Commission on Cancer in the mid-1960s. The initial work was focused on establishing cancer clinics within hospitals where patients could expect to receive consistent diagnostic and cancer treatment services. By 1930, the first set of standards had been developed and released, and an Approvals Program (Accreditation Program) had been established that evaluated a cancer clinic s performance against the standards. By 1933, 140 clinics had gained accreditation. Since accreditation of this initial group, the number of Accredited Programs has slowly and steadily increased to encompass more than 1,500 hospitals, freestanding cancer centers, and cancer program networks nationwide. CoC-accredited programs represent 30% of the general medical-surgical hospitals in the United States and Puerto Rico and provide care to close to 70% of patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer each year. Commission on Cancer in Today s Health Care Environment The multidisciplinary Commission on Cancer: Establishes standards to ensure quality, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive cancer care delivery in health care settings. Conducts surveys to assess compliance with those standards. Collects standardized, high-quality data from CoC-accredited health care settings. Uses data to measure cancer care quality and to monitor treatment patterns and outcomes. Supports and enhances cancer control. Monitors clinical surveillance activities. Develops effective educational interventions to improve cancer prevention, early detection, care delivery, and outcomes in health care settings.
12 10 CoC membership is comprised of more than 100 individuals representing the multidisciplinary professionals of the cancer care team. Members include representatives from the ACoS and 47 national, professional member organizations. The complete listing of CoC member organizations can be found on the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website ( cancer). Each member serves on 1 or more committees that work to reach the CoC s goals by: Establishing standards for cancer programs and evaluating and accrediting programs according to those standards. Coordinating the annual collection, analysis, and dissemination of data from CoC-accredited cancer programs and conducting national site-specific studies. Each of these efforts supports the assessment of patterns of care and outcomes of patient management, which leads to improvements in the quality of cancer care. Coordinating the activities of a nationwide network of physician-volunteers who provide state and local support for CoC and American Cancer Society (ACS) cancer control initiatives. Providing oversight and coordination for educational programs of the CoC that are geared toward physicians, cancer registrars, cancer program leadership, and others. Providing clinical oversight and expertise for CoC standard-setting activities. The CoC Accreditation Committee The CoC Accreditation Committee includes physician and non-physician members representing professional organizations involved in cancer care, standard-setting organizations, government agencies, and physicians who represent the American College of Surgeons Fellowship. The CoC Accreditation Committee oversees the Commission on Cancer Accreditation Program and is responsible for developing and interpreting the standards for cancer programs. Three subcommittees are integral to accomplishing this work. The subcommittees are: Field Staff Subcommittee: Recruits, trains, and oversees the surveyor team members who perform the on-site evaluations of CoC-accredited cancer programs. Program Review Subcommittee: Develops interpretations for standards, adjudicates appeal and deficiency resolution decisions, and decides on the accreditation status when deficiencies are not resolved. Recruitment and Retention: Recruits, trains, and oversees the CoC-trained independent consultant team members who evaluate program performance between surveys; identifies and directly recruits new programs to the CoC Accreditation Program; monitors program withdrawals; and intercedes when appropriate.
13 The CoC Accreditation Program
14 12 NOTES
15 13 The CoC Accreditation Program The Accreditation Program encourages hospitals, treatment centers, and other facilities to improve their quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs. These programs are concerned with the full continuum of cancer from prevention through hospice and end-of-life care or survivorship and quality of life. Patients with cancer who obtaining care at a CoCaccredited cancer program receive the following benefits: Quality care close to home. Comprehensive care offering a range of stateof-the-art services and equipment. A multidisciplinary, team approach to coordinate the best cancer treatment options available. Access to cancer-related information and education. Access to patient-centered services such as psychosocial distress screening and navigation. Options for genetic assessment and counseling, and palliative care services. Ongoing monitoring and improvement of care. Assessment of treatment planning based on evidence-based national treatment guidelines. Information about clinical trials and new treatment options. Follow-up care at the completion of treatment, including a survivorship care plan. A cancer registry that collects data on cancer type, stage, and treatment results, and offers lifelong patient follow-up. CoC Accreditation is granted only to the facilities that have voluntarily committed to provide the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment and are able to comply with established CoC standards. Each cancer program must undergo a rigorous evaluation and review of its performance and compliance with the CoC standards. To maintain accreditation, facilities with accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every 3 years. The structure outlined in Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care ensures that each cancer program seeking accreditation provides all patients with a full range of diagnostic, treatment, and supportive services either on-site at the facility or by referral to another location, including community-based resources. There are currently more than 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, representing 30% of all hospitals that provide care to more than 70% of newly diagnosed cancer patients annually. These programs are supported by a network of more than 1,600 volunteer physician representatives (cancer liaison physicians) appointed by the cancer program leadership to serve as physician champions and to maintain cancer program accreditation or establish a new program, and to work with the local American Cancer Society on cancercontrol activities that support the community.
16 14 Cancer Program Accreditation: A Central Component of Quality Cancer Care Cancer care over the last 50 years has evolved from its primary focus on local disease to a sophisticated, multidisciplinary approach to achieve the level of high quality care that is now available in the United States and around the world. The outlook for people afflicted with cancer as well as the impact of treatment on quality of life has improved dramatically. The application of current screening, improved local therapy, and systemic treatments has led to dramatic reductions in cancer mortality. Further contributing to this improvement in care has been the explosion in scientific research that has led to personalized understanding of prognosis and the availability of targeted treatments. Unfortunately, there remains substantial evidence that many people with cancer do not receive the benefits of high quality care that are now possible. Variation in the quality of care affects many outcomes ranging from quality of life and organ function preservation to cancer recurrence and survival. This was specifically brought to light by the Institute of Medicine with its report in 1999 entitled, Ensuring Quality Cancer Care. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) made a number of key recommendations to assure that all Americans receive high quality care. These include: Maintaining a system to measure and monitor the quality of care using a core set of quality measures; and to provide quality benchmarks for use by health systems Ensure that key elements of quality care are provided for every person with cancer Treatment by experienced professionals Patients are provided an agreed upon care plan Access to the full complement of resources to implement the care plan Access to clinical trials Policies to ensure full disclosure of information about treatment options Mechanisms to coordinate services Psychosocial support Responding to the IOM Report: CoC Standards and Quality Measurement Meeting these standards is an obligation of all who provide cancer care. However, despite the passage of 12 years since this report, the Accreditation Program of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons remains the only system in the United States that provides the standards, data system, quality metrics, and multidisciplinary program that address the recommendations of the IOM. Equally important this program provides community-based cancer programs with systems and standards to meet these challenges, along with the oversight to ensure that these standards are met. CoC accreditation, in evolution for over 80 years, has been continuously improved and enhanced to provide cancer programs with the structure and support to ensure high-quality care. CoC accreditation requires the involvement and leadership of experienced professionals working together to define appropriate care processes, and that the full complement of services are available to patients. The program requires access to clinical trials, and mechanisms to coordinate services including psychosocial support, pain management, care plans, and palliative and hospice care. It also provides programs with the necessary systems to measure and monitor care along with benchmarks for use by the program and its affiliated health system. Further, the CoC leads the nation in developing core sets of quality measures for use by its programs to serve as the basis for quality improvement. The most recent revision of the CoC Cancer Program Standards is set forth in this manual. These standards are built upon the successful standards of previous iterations, and have been enhanced in many areas. These revisions culminate the efforts of dozens of experts from all oncology disciplines with input from hundreds of professionals from around the country. Each and every standard was carefully reviewed for relevance, for value to the program and to patients, and to the feasibility of implementation in community settings. Many existing standards were jettisoned as outmoded, and many were refined to meet current realities and high standards for quality care. Ensure quality of care at the end of life; care for cancer-related pain; timely referral to palliative and hospice care
17 15 The standards provide clear guidance to the necessary professionals to support the provision of high quality care. Providing a high level of care for most cancer types, particularly the common cancers that afflict the largest number of people, is possible in most communities however, providing quality care requires coordination of care among many medical disciplines including physicians ranging from primary care providers to specialists in all oncology disciplines. In addition, care requires input from many other clinical and allied-health professionals including nursing, social work, genetics, nutrition, rehabilitation, and others. Major Standard Changes: Performance Standards and Patient-Centered Programs The most notable change in the CoC Cancer Program Standards is the shift from standards that primarily defined the structure of the cancer program to include new standards that enhance patient centered functions and define performance criteria in quality measurement and outcomes. Key standards require programs in patient-centered areas including the provision of treatment and survivorship plans; palliative care services; genetics services; navigation programs; and psychosocial distress screening. Required performance levels on quality metrics as defined by the data collected by the cancer program s cancer registry, along with suggested mechanisms to help the cancer committees address deficiencies in performance. The patient-centered services are all areas where experience and research in the last decade have demonstrated that current practice is often deficient, and where implementation will enhance the patient experience with care, quality of life, and treatment outcomes. These standards set a high bar, but one that the CoC has found that most accredited programs are eager to meet and can meet. Fully defining best practices in these areas and fully implementing them nationwide will undoubtedly take a number of years, and the CoC will remain supportive through the survey process. However, our patients deserve nothing less that our full attention to these key areas of practice. The quality metric standards are equally important. Applying these measures to cancer care in the community will be critical to enhance care. As recognized by the IOM, only through a program of ongoing monitoring can we assess care, define barriers to high quality, and continuously improve care. Toward this end, the CoC has worked for the last 10 years with other major oncology organizations and the National Quality Forum (NQF) to develop and implement national standards. Measures proposed by the CoC were the key quality measures approved by the NQF in 2007 for national use. The national organizations recognize that the CoC, through the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), has the only system available to apply these measures and feed data back to programs and providers for continuous quality improvement. CoC-accredited cancer programs are all familiar with the systems the NCDB uses to apply and report quality data. Each program receives annual updates on its practice in breast and colorectal cancer through the Cancer Program Practice Profile Reports (CP 3 R) which allow for auditing and updating of data. Programs that have used the CP 3 R have demonstrated the ability to collect the necessary data, and achieve high levels of performance with these measures. Moving into the future, the CoC standard revisions accommodate two major changes. The first is the addition of new measures to the CP 3 R. This addition will include additional breast and rectal cancer measures, and measures in other major cancer types. The second enhancement is the Rapid Quality Reporting System a real-time data collection program to assess hospital-level performance using NQF-endorsed quality of cancer care measures. The system tracks patients and includes alerts to assure they receive the proper care at the appropriate time. The revised standards require that programs meet performance criteria on each measure applied through the NCDB. Those that do not will need to provide annual review and a quality improvement program that will bring the care they provide into the acceptable level of performance.
18 16 Cost and Value: What this Means for Accredited Programs The revised standards set forth in this manual require concerted effort from accredited programs to enhance the care they provide. Certainly there is some cost associated with this effort. Apart from the cost of maintaining the registry, these standards will require that the accredited program invest time and some resources to develop strategies to support the patient care standards. However, the majority of the cost will be in the commitment of the providers and other staff in developing the systems by which they will implement these key processes of care. Programs need to recognize that these standards merely set forth what are increasingly recognized as critical components of cancer care. Providers that do not implement these patient-centered programs will increasingly find themselves out of step with modern oncology care. Therefore, the real cost to the program in the long run is to ignore these issues. Similarly, sidestepping the collection of data in a cancer outcomes database or registry will have similar negative consequences for cancer programs. Not only does use of these data promote quality improvement, it will increasingly be required by other agencies including payers and the government. A number of payers are looking to the CoC quality metrics and programs as a core component of their Centers of Excellence programs. Government agencies including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services look to the CoC and its registry system to assist in establishing systems for reporting quality. Finally, the CoC reporting systems will help accredited programs with accurate, timely, and meaningful data for public reporting, as this becomes a real necessity. The majority of cancer care in America is communitybased. It is important that cancer programs demonstrate to outside parties including payers, the government, and the public, that indeed, care provided in our communitybased programs is excellent. One study recently completed using the CoC data showed that more than 95% of women with breast cancer and breast conserving surgery received timely radiation, and similarly that more than 95% of those with Stage III colon cancer received appropriate chemotherapy. Many CoC programs are using such data from the CP 3 R in negotiations with payers to receive bonuses for the quality of care they provide. These revised standards and CoC accreditation provide real value to accredited programs. Programs can proudly demonstrate to their community of payers, providers, and the public that they have invested in systems to ensure that cancer patients receive high quality, coordinated care, and that they have taken the efforts necessary to ensure that supportive services and resources addressing the full continuum of care are available in their community. Accreditation allows programs to demonstrate the high quality that they provide, and their commitment to continuous quality improvement.
19 Accreditation Process
20 18 NOTES
21 19 Accreditation Process Categories of Cancer Programs Each facility is assigned to a Cancer Program Category based on the type of facility or organization, services provided, and cases accessioned. Category assignments are made by CoC staff and are retained unless there are changes to the services provided and/or the facility caseload. The Cancer Program Categories and definitions are as follows: INTEGRATED NETWORK CANCER PROGRAM (INCP) The organization owns, operates, leases, or is part of a joint venture with multiple facilities providing integrated cancer care and offers comprehensive services. At least 1 facility in the category is a hospital, and all facilities that are part of the Network are CoC-accredited cancer programs. Generally, INCPs are characterized by a unified cancer committee, standardized registry operations with a uniform data repository, and coordinated service locations and practitioners. Each entity of the INCP meets performance expectations for the quality measures under the umbrella of the integrated program. The INCP participates in cancer-related clinical research either by enrolling patients in cancer-related clinical trials or by referring patients for enrollment at another facility or through a physician s office. Participation in the training of resident physicians is optional, and there is no minimum caseload requirement for this category. NCI-DESIGNATED COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER PROGRAM (NCIP) The facility secures a National Cancer Institute (NCI) peer-reviewed cancer center support grant and is designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the NCI. A full range of diagnostic and treatment services and staff physicians are available. This facility participates in basic and clinical research. Participation in the training of resident physicians is optional, and there is no minimum caseload requirement for this category. ACADEMIC COMPREHENSIVE CANCER PROGRAM (ACAD) The facility provides postgraduate medical education in at least 4 program areas. The facility accessions more than 500 newly diagnosed cancer cases each year. The facility offers the full range of diagnostic and treatment services either on-site or by referral. The facility is required to participate in cancer-related clinical research either by enrolling patients in cancer-related clinical trials or by referring patients for enrollment at another facility or through a physician s office. VETERANS AFFAIRS CANCER PROGRAM (VACP) The facility provides care to military veterans and offers the full range of diagnostic and treatment services either on-site or by referral, preferably to CoC-accredited cancer program(s). Participation in cancer-related clinical research is required either by enrolling patients in cancer-related clinical trials or by referring patients for enrollment at another facility or through a physician s office. Participation in the training of resident physicians is optional. There is no minimum caseload required for this category.
22 20 COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY CANCER PROGRAM (CCCP) The facility accessions more than 500 newly diagnosed cancer cases each year. The facility provides a full range of diagnostic and treatment services either on-site or by referral. Participation in cancer-related clinical research is required either by enrolling patients in cancer-related clinical trials or by referring patients for enrollment at another facility or through a physician s office. Participation in the training of resident physicians is optional. COMMUNITY CANCER PROGRAM (CCP) The facility accessions more than 100 but fewer than 500 newly diagnosed cancer cases each year and provides a full range of diagnostic and treatment services, but referral for a portion of diagnosis or treatment may occur. Facilities participate in cancer-related clinical research either by enrolling patients in cancer-related clinical trials or by referring patients for enrollment at another facility or through a physician s office. Participation in the training of resident physicians is optional. HOSPITAL ASSOCIATE CANCER PROGRAM (HACP) The facility accessions 100 or fewer newly diagnosed cancer cases each year and has a limited range of diagnostic and treatment services available on-site. Other services are available by referral. Clinical research is not required. Participation in the training of resident physicians is optional. PEDIATRIC CANCER PROGRAM (PCP) The facility provides care only to children, or the pediatric oncology program is a component within a larger CoC-accredited facility. The facility may be associated with a medical school and participate in training pediatric residents. The facility or pediatric oncology program offers the full range of diagnostic and treatment services for pediatric patients either onsite or by referral. The facility is required to participate in cancer-related clinical research focused on pediatric patients either by enrolling patients in cancer-related clinical trials or by referring patients for enrollment at another facility or through a physician s office. There is no minimum caseload requirement for this category. FREESTANDING CANCER CENTER PROGRAM (FCCP) The facility is a non hospital-based program and offers at least 1 cancer-related treatment modality. The full range of diagnostic and treatment services is available by referral. Referral to CoC-accredited cancer program(s) is preferred. Participation in cancer-related clinical research is encouraged but not required. Patients may be enrolled in cancer-related clinical trials either at the facility or by referring patients for enrollment at another facility or through a physician s office. Participation in the training of resident physicians is optional, and there is no minimum caseload requirement for this category. A table of eligibility and standard requirements for each CoC Cancer Program Category can be found in Appendix A.
23 21 Survey Process CoC-accredited cancer programs are surveyed on a triennial schedule. Each July, an initial notification is provided to facilities due for survey in the upcoming calendar year. In preparation for survey, the cancer committee does the following three things: 1. Assesses program compliance with the requirements for all standards outlined in Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care. 2. Reviews and completes the online SAR. 3. Confirms the survey schedule and agenda with the cancer program surveyor. CoC staff match a cancer program surveyor to each program due for survey. The program is notified of the target date for survey, the surveyor who is assigned to perform the review, and the surveyor s contact information through an notification. The profile for each surveyor, which includes a photo and brief biography, is available in the Accreditation section of the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website ( The program may decline the assigned surveyor if a conflict of interest exists between the surveyor and the program. A conflict of interest is defined as follows: Affiliation with the facility being surveyed. Affiliation with another facility in direct competition with the facility being surveyed. Survey Extensions When extenuating circumstances affect program activity, a survey extension may be appropriate. Valid reasons for extensions include, but are not limited to, the following: Database conversion Hospital mergers Each request for an extension is made in writing to CoC staff by the cancer committee chair within 45 days of the initial survey notification. Requests for extension are given individual consideration. A maximum extension of 1 year may be granted. Facilities are notified of extension decisions, and the new target date for survey is provided. Programs are discouraged from canceling or postponing the scheduled survey. If cancellation or postponement becomes necessary after the survey date is confirmed, the facility must contact Cancer Programs staff and submit a written notification. The facility will be assessed a cancellation fee. The Survey Fee An invoice for the survey fee is ed to the cancer registrar at least 30 days before the date of the scheduled survey. Payment of the invoice is due within 30 days after the survey date. The program must notify CoC staff of the conflict within 14 days of receipt of the surveyor notification . When a conflict is confirmed, a new surveyor assignment will be provided to the program within 30 days of notification of the conflict of interest. A survey date must be scheduled within the calendar quarter when the survey is due. The selection of a survey date is coordinated between the facility and the surveyor. Confirmation of the survey date and time is provided to the facility administrator and other cancer program staff by a minimum of 30 days before the on-site visit.
24 22 The Survey Agenda A member of the cancer care team confirms the agenda for the on-site visit with the surveyor at least 14 days before the on-site visit. The surveyor s role is to assist in accurately defining the standards and verifying that the facility s cancer program is in compliance. To accomplish this task, the surveyor meets with: Key members of facility administration to discuss the value of CoC accreditation. The cancer committee to discuss the goals and responsibilities of the cancer committee in relationship to the cancer program and to verify the accuracy of the data recorded in the SAR. The Cancer Liaison Physician to brainstorm opportunities to use National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) data for performance improvement. The cancer registry staff to verify the accuracy and timeliness of cancer registry operations. At a minimum, the surveyor must meet with the following: Chief Executive Officer and/or other high-level administrator Cancer Liaison Physician Cancer Committee Chair Cancer Program Administrator The cancer program coordinators All members of the cancer committee In addition to these meetings, the surveyor will attend a cancer conference to observe the multidisciplinary patient management discussion and to confirm that treatment is planned using nationally recognized, evidence-based treatment guidelines, and will review selected patient records, pathology reports, and cancer registry abstracts. The Survey Application Record The Survey Application Record (SAR) is available throughout the 3-year accreditation period for use as a record-keeping tool to document program activity. Access to the SAR is provided to the cancer registrar, cancer committee chair, cancer program administrator, and cancer liaison physician. Additional users can be identified by the program. Password-protected access to the SAR is provided through CoC Datalinks. CoC Datalinks is a passwordprotected portal accessed via a link available on the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website at To facilitate a thorough and accurate evaluation of the cancer program during the survey, the facility completes or updates the SAR at least 14 days before the scheduled on-site visit. The cancer program surveyor reviews the facility s online SAR before the on-site visit to assess compliance with the standards, to become familiar with the resources and services offered at the facility and the cancer program activity. The cancer registrar is notified by when the SAR is available for completion in preparation for the survey. Completion of the SAR should be a team effort of members of the cancer committee with 1 individual chosen to coordinate the activity and record the information in the SAR. Each year, the facility is notified of the areas of the SAR requiring annual updates. If not updated on the annual schedule, all information must be provided before the survey. In addition to capturing information about cancer program activity and in preparation for survey, the individual responsible for completing the SAR will perform a selfassessment and rate compliance with each standard using the Cancer Program Standards Rating System.
25 23 A portion of the information collected in the SAR describing the facility s resources and services is automatically made available to the public through the CoC Hospital Locator. This data-sharing activity is designed to benefit all CoC-accredited cancer programs. Facilityspecific resource and service information is made available to cancer patients, caregivers, and the general public, which enables them to make more informed decisions about their options for cancer care. The SAR is used to update the resource and service information for display on the CoC Hospital Locator. The Hospital Locator is accessible from the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website at The program is also provided the option to release annual caseload data as submitted to the CoC s NCDB, providing the public with site and stage data for cancer patients seen at the facility. The Post-Survey Evaluation The Post-Survey Evaluation (PSE) is a required part of the cancer program survey. The PSE captures feedback from the facility, which enables the CoC to evaluate and improve the survey process and surveyor performance and to develop educational materials and training programs for surveyors and participating programs. The PSE is accessed through the SAR. All responses are confidential and will not influence the cancer program evaluation or accreditation award. Responses on the evaluation form should represent a consensus opinion of the cancer care team. The PSE is completed by the program within 2 weeks after the on-site visit. Required Documentation CoC-accredited cancer programs document cancer program activity using multiple sources, including policies, procedures, manuals, and grids; however, cancer committee minutes are the primary resource for documentation of cancer program activity. In preparation for the on-site visit, documentation is attached to the SAR. The documentation can be attached throughout the 3-year accreditation period but must be attached within 14 days of the on-site visit so that the documentation is available for surveyor review in preparation for the visit. The documentation required for each standard is included in the specifications for the standard. Notification of Results Award notification takes place within 45 days following the completed survey. The Accredited Cancer Program Performance Report (Performance Report) provides the following: A comprehensive summary of the survey outcome and accreditation award The facility s compliance rating for each standard An overall rating compared with other accredited facilities nationwide, facilities in the state, and category of accreditation A narrative description of deficiencies that require correction Suggestions to improve or enhance the program Commendations awarded
26 24 By enabling each facility to compare its ratings for the standards with other accredited programs, the Performance Report facilitates the identification of areas for program improvement. The cancer committee chair, cancer program administrator, cancer liaison physician, and cancer registrar receive an notification when the completed Performance Report is posted to CoC Datalinks. The notification includes a link to the cover letter explaining the information provided in the report and how to interpret the comparison information. The posted Performance Report is accessible to all CoC Datalinks users at the facility. A sample report appears on the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website at If accredited without contingency, the Certificate of Accreditation is provided to the cancer program administrator following posting of the Performance Report to CoC Datalinks. The facility can appeal a finding for any standard or the accreditation award within 30 days of posting of the Accredited Cancer Program Performance Report. The appeals process is outlined in the appeal guidelines that are posted in the Accreditation section of the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website at Marketing and Visibility Each CoC-accredited program that receives either Three-Year with Commendation or Three-Year Accreditation is provided with a Certificate of Accreditation. These programs are also provided access to a CoC press release and marketing messaging that can be used by the CoC-accredited cancer program to promote its accreditation achievement. Resource and service information for all CoC-accredited cancer programs is included on the CoC Hospital Locator where programs can also choose to share the annual caseload information. Access to the CoC Hospital Locator is available on the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website at
27 Additional Accreditation Information
28 26 NOTES
29 27 Additional Accreditation Information Cancer Program Standards Rating System The following rating system is used to assign a compliance rating to each standard: 1 + Commendation 1 Compliance 5 Noncompliance 8 Not Applicable Based on the rating criteria specified for each standard, a compliance rating is assigned by the program, surveyor, and CoC staff. A deficiency is defined as any standard with a rating of 5. A deficiency in 1 or more standards will affect the accreditation award. The Commendation rating (1+) is valid for 8 standards. The Commendation ratings are used to determine the Accreditation Award and award level (bronze, silver, gold). A Commendation rating can be earned only at the time of survey. The following standards are eligible for Commendation. The Commendation criteria are defined within the descriptions for each of the following standards: STANDARD 1.3: Each required member attends at least 50% of the cancer committee meetings held during any given year. STANDARD 1.9: As appropriate to the cancer program category, the required percentage of patients is accrued to cancer-related clinical trials each year. The clinical trial coordinator or representative reports clinical trial participation to the cancer committee each year. STANDARD 1.11: Each year, all members of the cancer registry staff participate in 1 cancer-related educational activity other than cancer conferences. STANDARD 1.12: Each year, the cancer committee develops and disseminates a report of patient or program outcomes to the public. STANDARD 2.1: College of American Pathologists (CAP) protocols are followed to report the required data elements in 90% of the eligible cancer pathology reports each year. STANDARD 2.2: Oncology nursing care is provided by nurses with specialized knowledge and skills. Competency is evaluated annually. STANDARD 5.2: Each year, 90% of cases are abstracted within 6 months of the date of first contact with the program. STANDARD 5.6: Annually, cases submitted to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) that were diagnosed on January 1, 2003 or later meet the established quality criteria and resubmission deadline specified in the annual Call for Data.
30 28 Accreditation Awards Accreditation awards are based on consensus ratings by the cancer program surveyor, CoC staff, and, when required, the Program Review Subcommittee. A program earns one of the following Accreditation Awards. THREE-YEAR WITH COMMENDATION ACCREDITATION is given to programs, either new or established, that comply with all standards at the time of survey and receive a commendation rating for 1 or more standards. A program receiving commendation for up to 3 standards earns Three-Year with Commendation Bronze level. Commendation for 4 to 6 standards earns Three-Year with Commendation Silver level. Commendation for 7 or 8 standards earns Three-Year with Commendation Gold level. A certificate of accreditation is issued, and these programs are surveyed at 3-year intervals from the date of the survey. THREE-YEAR ACCREDITATION is given to programs, either new or established, that comply with all standards at the time of survey but do not receive a commendation rating for any standards. This award is also applied to programs that received and resolved a deficiency for 1 or more standards, regardless of the number of commendations received at the time of survey. A certificate of accreditation is issued, and these programs are surveyed at 3-year intervals from the date of the survey. THREE-YEAR ACCREDITATION WITH CONTINGENCY is given to an established program when 1 to 7 standards are rated deficient at the time of survey. The contingency status must be resolved within 12 months. Programs follow the guidelines for deficiency resolution that are posted in the Accreditation section of the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website at Programs submit documentation to resolve the contingency status through the SAR. Three-Year Accreditation is granted following submission and evaluation of documentation. A Certificate of Accreditation is issued after resolution of deficiencies, and these programs are surveyed at 3-year intervals from the date of the survey. THREE-YEAR ACCREDITATION WITH CONTINGENCY is given to new programs when 1 or 2 standards in the Program Management chapter (S1.1 S1.12) are rated deficient at the time of survey. The contingency status must be resolved within 12 months. Programs follow the guidelines for deficiency resolution that are posted in the Accreditation section of the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website at Programs submit documentation to resolve the contingency status through the SAR. Three-Year Accreditation is granted following submission and evaluation of documentation. A Certificate of Accreditation is issued after resolution of deficiencies, and these programs are surveyed at 3-year intervals from the date of the survey. NON-ACCREDITATION is given when 8 or more standards are rated deficient or when a new program is deficient in more than 2 standards or in standards that are not part of the Program Management chapter (S ). Programs are encouraged to improve their performance and may reapply for accreditation when all standards are met. THREE-YEAR WITH COMMENDATION THREE-YEAR Complies with all standards at the time of survey but does not receive a commendation rating for any standard. THREE-YEAR WITH CONTINGENCY 1 7 deficiencies at the time of survey. NON-ACCREDITATION 8 or more deficiencies at the time of survey. Complies with all standards at the time of survey and receives a commendation rating for 1 or more standards. Gold: 7 8 commendations Silver: 4 6 commendations Bronze: 1 3 commendations Or, is awarded when all deficiencies are resolved regardless of the number of commendations awarded at survey. Programs undergoing initial accreditation: 1 or 2 deficiencies in standards Programs undergoing initial accreditation: 3 or more deficiencies in standards or 1 or more deficiencies in other standards.
31 29 Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) All programs currently accredited by the CoC are eligible to receive the CoC Outstanding Achievement Award, except for NCIP facilities. The OAA will be granted to a program that does both of the following at the time of re-survey: Receives a commendation rating in each of the Commendation standards. Receives a compliance rating for all other standards. The purposes of this award are to: Recognize the cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to cancer patients. Motivate other programs to work toward improving their care. Foster communication between award recipients and other programs to do the following: Share best practices Serve as a resource to other programs Act as a champion for CoC cancer program accreditation Best Practices Repository and Other Resources The Best Practices Repository includes examples of policies or procedures, job descriptions, and other tools developed by CoC staff that can be used to implement or document compliance with a standard. In addition, the Best Practices Repository includes tools and examples developed and used by CoC-accredited cancer programs. Programs are encouraged to access, customize, and use all of this material when developing their own methods to meet the Cancer Program Standards. CoC-accredited cancer programs are encouraged to use the CAnswer Forum bulletin board system to request clarification of the interpretation of a standard, search for questions and answers submitted by other users, and initiate a dialogue among users to share best practices methods for understanding and meeting the standards. These resources are located on the Cancer Programs page of the American College of Surgeons website at Recipients are identified following the confirmation of the accreditation awards for all programs surveyed during the calendar year. Cancer programs achieving this award will receive the following: A letter of recognition from the CoC chair addressed to the Chief Executive Officer/administrator. A specially designed press release and marketing information. The Outstanding Achievement Award trophy. CoC publicity via CoC Flash, the Cancer Programs Web pages, and the CoC Hospital Locator. Acknowledgment at a public forum.